This post may contain sponsored links, posts and/or ads. See my full disclosure policy.

How to Save Money by Preparing Your Home for Winter


winterizing

Everyone knows just how cold and unbearable the winter months can be, and on top of it all, our energy bills always seem to sky rocket around this time. The heat is being turned up, more hot water is being used for baths and showers, and the days are getting shorter which means the lights in the house are turning on sooner and staying on longer. This article will help show you ways in which you can save money by being proactive and properly preparing your home for winter before the winter months rush in – which they always tend to come sooner than expected. Some of these tips are absolutely free, and some are very affordable actions you can take to lower the cost of your bills overall throughout the winter.

Cover and Seal Leaky Windows: One of the biggest energy costs through the colder months can come from heat that is lost through drafty windows. Take some time to do the inventory of all the windows in your home to ensure they are sealed properly and not showing any signs of leaks. A great way to test this is to hold a lit candle steady near the seam of a window frame when the window is closed. Watch the candle’s flame closely once it is steady. If the flame starts to bend in a particular direction or move noticeably, chances are you have a draft coming in through the window – especially if it is an older window. If the windows in your home are old and in really poor condition, it may be wise to replace your home’s windows with new, energy efficient windows while the weather is still warm enough. If your windows are in decent shape and there are just a few that are suspicious of leaks, cover these windows with winterized plastic sheeting. Winterizing kits are sold at any local hardware store that has everything you need to do the job. Either seal the window from the outside, or tightly install the plastic sheeting on the inside of the window frame, making sure to fit it as tight as possible to get the best protection from air leaks.

Postpone the Heat: Instead of rushing to turn on your heat as soon as the leaves start changing colour, consider postponing using your heat until it is absolutely necessary. There are things you can do to help warm your house in the cooler fall months without the need to turn up the thermostat. When you are spending time in the house on a cool day, dress in layers. Wear a sweater or use a blanket when you feel chilly. Slippers also help keep you warm by stopping your body’s heat from escaping through your feet. Another great way to warm the house is to take advantage of the sun’s heat. If you have windows that face the sun at any time of the day, keep those windows uncovered. Open the blinds, pull back the curtains and allow the sun’s heat to warm your house through the glass when it shines directly inside. Once the sun goes down, close your curtains and blinds to help keep that heat inside. And finally, anytime the oven is used throughout these cooler months, instead of closing the oven door and allow the heat to dissipate, keep the oven door open about an inch or so and allow that extra heat to fill your kitchen and nearby rooms.

Use the Heat Wisely: When the time comes that you must turn on that thermostat, remember to use it wisely. For the times when you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as you can while still being comfortable and warm enough. Remember you can always throw on a sweater if you need a little extra warmth. For the times when you are away from the home, at work or asleep, turn your thermostat down by 10 or 15 degrees which will help you save at least 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. If you find yourself a little chilly at night, wear warm pajamas or throw an extra blanket on your bed. If you have a pretty regular schedule, you can now purchase programmable thermostats that will adjust your heat accordingly throughout the day.

Change Your Light Bulbs: Now that the days are shorter and soon to be darker and cloudier through the winter months, you know that the lights in your home are going to be used more frequently and will be on for longer periods of time. Consider replacing your current light bulbs with new, energy efficient bulbs. These bulbs may cost a little more than regular bulbs, but they use only a third to a fifth of the electricity that a normal light bulb uses, and they last up to 15 times longer! To top it all off, they are just as and sometimes brighter than your regular light bulbs. When it comes to decorating your tree and your home this Christmas, use strands of LED Christmas lights instead which also use less energy yet still look just as pretty!

Find and Fix Those Leaks: Aside from drafty windows, there are many other places that air can leak in and out of around the home. These are places such as plumbing penetrations (where piping goes through the walls and floors), unfinished spaces behind closets and cabinets, chimneys and even lighting fixtures in the ceiling, particularly recessed lighting. Wherever you seem to notice a draft (remember the candle trick for checking drafts) determine what the best way is to fix the problem. For piping and window frames, it can be as simple as sealing the leak with some new caulking. For spaces that use insulation such as behind closets and in ceilings, your best option is to fill those spaces with the proper insulation. Once you have fixed any leaks in your home, you can feel assured that you will save much more money and lose much less heat throughout the coming winter months.

Author Bio

Adelaide Irene is a freelance writer with special interests in home improvements and decorating. She also works alongside an Oakville windows company called ecoChoice that deal mostly will window replacement.



Comments

  1. 1

    One of the biggest wastes of money is all of the warm air escaping through old, leaky windows and doors. Many people don’t grasp the magnitude that a small leak in a window can do on your energy bills. Although new replacement windows and doors are a great expense, you would be surprised the see the amount of savings you gain due to your windows being properly sealed. It is one small thing that can be a life of a difference, fix those leaky windows!

Speak Your Mind

*

Google+